Hi Mark

I have a question regarding cycling and weight training. I have looked at the articles in the knowledge section, about the need for hours on the bike to keep the endurance.

My problem is I live in Denmark, and the season is only from april-okt at most. Of course I have the possibly to train from nov-marts, but its generally with rain, strong wind and sometimes snow. I have the last two years used the offseason to really focus on gymnastics & strength training which is my other passion. In that time i used high intensity workouts (from your site, crossfit, ross) to keep endurance (at least i thought i would) But this year i was I in France riding in the mountains and my recovery and general endurance (over 2hours) was shit and that goes aswell for the two flat races I particepated in Denmark.

My question is, with your experience how would you recommend training if my focus is cycling in the season hoping to top around maj-juli, and my focus in the cycling offseason is to focus on gymnastics

If its to complex to write on mail could you then recommend some books on the subject.

I hope I have not overlooked the answer in som of the articles.

Best Regards

Answer

I have experienced the same lack of recovery from endurance efforts when I have focused on strength and power-endurance in the off-season or even during the season. There is not significant carry-over from these "sprint" efforts in the gym to riding efficiently. Short, hard efforts (GJ, CF, Ross) are fun to do, and build quite good leg and core strength, which is very useful on the bike but the problem for riding is the need for "deep fitness" and this takes time: time on the bike.

Yours is a tough situation because of the winter weather. However, I think from Oct-Dec you must have a fantastic culture of cyclo-cross. This is so good for developing power, and you can do it in the cold and wet because speeds are low so you can dress well enough. It is also very specific.

Once the CX season is over the difficult work begins. I do a lot of training in winter on rollers or a trainer indoors. It is terrible for the mind. I would rather be outside but here we have snow so I cannot ride on the road as much as I want and need to do. I have had good results (for me, a beginner on the bike) with 45-75 minutes per day in the winter, 5-6 days per week. It's not long enough on the rollers to make me crazy, but by doing so many days in a row the endurance begins to develop. I also train in the gym 2-3 times per week. Two days I lift weights and also ride, one day I either rest completely or only lift weights. The other days I ride. When I can go outside I use a fixed-gear (track bike) because it is quite good to develop both leg strength, and also the neurological skills to spin at a very fast cadence.

As weather improves I begin doing more, longer rides outside and spend les time in the gym. The winter is good for developing the strength and power but sooner or later it must be converted for the bike. And then converted into endurance.

For a book, I can recommend an old one, which I like very much because the writer is Polish and his attitude about hard work is very good. Also he is not so "mechanical" like some modern coaches. The book is called "Bicycle Road Racing", written by Eddie Borysewicz. He does not provide the answers you seek but he does open many doors through which one can explore.

Best regards,
Mark

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